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Nas - King's Disease: Review

When Nasir dropped during Kanye West’s Wyoming series, the amassed hype was equivalent to, if not more than, any rapper spitting over a West instrumental. It unfortunately flopped hard with lackluster mixing making it sound like it was released as a rough cut… an extremely rough one for the heights Nas and Kanye have elevated themselves throughout the years. However there was still fire in that engine and it only grew slightly on King’s Disease.

Nas has always been a page turner as he has the consistent penmanship to create clever rhymes and deep themes of race. King’s Disease, unfortunately continues his streak of slight mediocrity and not even the elevated rhyme game can save him.

Nas learned to get with the times and find acceptance as an aging rapper. He knew he could produce, but it’d be hard for him to make music with instrumentals like Lil Pump used. But it never saturated his fame status, only the flavor of hennessey. But on King’s Disease, his choice to include the new school and the odd production choices leads to blunders along the way.

Produced primarily by Hit-Boy and Nas, the production has many merritts for the satchel. It’s problem is that it can play the honeypot on you, like on the track “27 Summers.” One of the many finely tuned instrumentals on the album that is elevated by its gritty like street influenced instrumental. But as the track starts to reach the top of the rollercoaster it stalls. It eventually ends abruptly at minute forty where it left the track a little more hollow.

Through the many hollow tunnels the album takes you through, a handful of tracks felt like the old Nas. “Full Circle,” is a fresh soulful-rap track that brings vibes from the 90s and modernizes it. It isn’t a Nas track, it is a Firm track. It brought out the glee in the old head mentality, as it's been eons since they dropped a track. And with the eloquent verses inhibited within the song just makes you want more projects from the four. And the subsequent track - "10 Points," which really drives it home in that regard.

The bravado behind nas’ swagger in his flow isn’t lost in the jumbled bag of an album, King’s Disease. When he bodies a track solo it really shines his best qualities. And when he tries to retain more relevance based on features, they almost never transcribe the way you’d think. Like the Anderson .Paak feature on “All Bad,” which sounds like he recorded over a phone and there was no post work done. The staticky off note chorus and verse from the artist are lackluster and turn from usual features.

King’s Disease has a lot for merit, but it never finds a proper equilibrium. The solo outings come in stronger than most of the tracks which carry features. Though Hit-Boy comes in with a solid range of instrumentals with unique layering. The grit and grime that Nas is prone to is sometimes a disheveled mess. Fortunately the album has enough tracks to want to check out for yourself.


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